2cy American Herring Gull, banded as ‘1106-26919’ – 20140213

During my trip to Chicago last month, I encountered several ringed (or ‘banded’ as they say in America) Herring Gulls.

Unfortunately, all of them were fitted with metal rings (referred to as ‘federal bands’) which are just as difficult to read in the States as they are over here in Europe.

I only managed to read one, which funnily enough was the very first one that I encountered the very first time that I went out gull watching during my trip. The gull in question – a 2nd-calendar year American Herring Gull Larus smithsonianus – was fortunately very active, which allowed me to take enough photos to capture the full code. This was a good thing because the band was fitted upside down…

13 February 2014, BP Whiting refinery, Indiana, USA.

13 February 2014, BP Whiting refinery, Indiana, USA. 2nd-calendar year American Herring Gull, ringed/banded as 1106-26919.

I made the observation at the BP Whiting refinery, Indiana, USA:

Ring details

After submitting my observation on the Web site of the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center Bird Banding Laboratory, I was pleasantly surprised to be immediately presented with the ringing details:

INFORMATION FROM OUR FILES:
Species: HERRING GULL
Date banded: 06/24/2013
Banding Location: NEAR SISTER BAY, DOOR COUNTY, WISCONSIN, USA
Age: WAS TOO YOUNG TO FLY WHEN BANDED IN 2013
Sex: UNKNOWN

[Update] This was followed by a nice certificate the next day:

M[1106-26919]-certificate

Sister Bay, Wisconsin lies at the very north of Lake Michigan, some 390km (244 miles) north of Chicago.

Sister Bay, Wisconsin, USA. Click to view live map.

Sister Bay, Wisconsin, USA. Click to view live map.

Here are some more photos:

13 February 2014, BP Whiting refinery, Indiana, USA.

13 February 2014, BP Whiting refinery, Indiana, USA.

13 February 2014, BP Whiting refinery, Indiana, USA.

13 February 2014, BP Whiting refinery, Indiana, USA.

13 February 2014, BP Whiting refinery, Indiana, USA.

13 February 2014, BP Whiting refinery, Indiana, USA.

13 February 2014, BP Whiting refinery, Indiana, USA.

13 February 2014, BP Whiting refinery, Indiana, USA.

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2 thoughts on “2cy American Herring Gull, banded as ‘1106-26919’ – 20140213

  1. Hi, Maarten. I have much interest in this sighting. I’m sure I saw this bird 2 weeks ago in Whiting, but could not get a read on the band. You might like to know that I found 3 first winter American Herrings in New Buffalo, Michigan in December, also from Sister Bay. As you might imagine, the Herrings we see on southern Lake Michigan may not come from very far. Here’s more on those birds: http://goo.gl/9CfwLl

    • Hey Amar, that all sounds very similar to the situation we have over here in Europe: ‘local’ Herring Gulls moving south some 250 miles or so, while individuals with a distinctly different plumage originate from much further north (similar to our Scandinavian Herring Gulls in juvenile plumage that we see over here from from mid-winter).
      Lets hope for more banding efforts to the north of the Great Lakes!

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